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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013

This video presents “David Hulchanski: Toronto’s Three Cities.”

  • A new report details three cities within Toronto: the wealthy city, the middle-class city and the low-income city.
  • But if David Hulchanski’s research holds true, there will only be two cities in the near future: the rich and the poor.
  • What has caused this disparity? And what can be done to reverse the cycle?

The Ontario government  had launched Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008.

Poverty is no longer just a cycle wherein poorly-paid workers are struggling to “keep up with skyrocketing costs in housing, tuition and energy.”

This title should be revised and updated to ‘Breaking the Path to Poverty’ so as to be fitting to the reality of the present economy.

In today’s economy, the significant loss of  Canadian jobs due to outsourcing, dearth of middle-income jobs due to technology/digital revolution, and rampant job insecurity are all causal factors to almost instantaneous poverty for many hard-working individuals.

The shrinking middle class trend goes hand-in-hand with the growing poverty trend in this economy of  “anaemic GDP growth“, which is delineated by of the Toronto Star as follows.

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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Put Food in the Budget: Please Urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to Raise Social Assistance Rates Now!

This video (May 27, 2013) presents “Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announces social assistance plans at City Hall in Windsor.”

  • Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the City of Windsor’s Employment and Training Services today to highlight the government’s commitment to transforming social assistance, helping people keep more of their hard-earned money while entering the workforce.

  • In the 2013 Budget, the government laid out its plan to move forward on implementing key recommendations from the Lankin-Sheikh report by creating a $200 monthly earnings exemption for people who receive benefits from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

  • The government would also increase social assistance rates, create more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities and work to reduce poverty rates in Ontario.

  • The 2013 Budget is designed to create jobs and help people in their everyday lives. By taking steps to remove barriers to employment, the government wants to make it easier for more social assistance recipients to enter the workforce and ensure that everyone in Ontario is treated fairly.

Hundreds of thousands of Ontario residents in Canada do not have enough to eat each month and, thus, are forced to go to food banks every month because of inadequate incomes.

Since 1970 the middle class is shrinking as poverty is growing in Toronto.

Here are some statistics on food banks in Canada.

  • 900,000 Canadians used food banks in 2010.
  • 50 percent of people who need food banks stay away out of shame.
  • $6.6 billion is the annual estimated cost of unhealthy eating in Canada.
  • 38 percent increase in the number of working poor in Canada between 1998 to 2008.
  • More than 10,000 people have completed the Do the Math campaign highlighting inadequate welfare rates.

The Toronto Star gives the following statistics regarding who’s on social assistance as of June 2012.

  • Ontario Works (OW)
    • 477,339 individuals, or about 3.6 per cent of the population;
    • 171,867 are children;
    • average age: 36;
    • 60 per cent of cases are singles;
    • 30 per cent are single parents;
    • 3 per cent are couples without children;
    • 8 per cent are couples with children; and
    • about 75 per cent of children are in families led by single parents.
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

    • 415,338 individuals or about 3.1 per cent of the population;
    • 43 percent of applicants have a physical disability;
    • 39 percent have a mental disability;
    • 18 percent have a developmental disability;
    • about 60 percent of new applicants in 2009-10 were suffering from mental illness;
    • 59,403 are children;
    • average age: 46;
    • 77 per cent are singles;
    • 9 per cent are single parents;
    • 8 per cent are couples without children;
    • 6 per cent are couples with children; and
    • just over half of children are in families led by single parents.

In the following letter, Put Food in the Budget is asking for our help to urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to immediately raise social assistance rates to levels that ensure lives of health and dignity.

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Community Health & Wellness

Elliot Lake’s Essential Services: To Be Maintained by All Governments July 2012

Elliot Lake's Essential Services: To Be Maintained by All Governments July 2012
Elliot Lake’s Essential Services: To Be Maintained by All Governments July 2012

This is an update to my previous blogs:

There were very sad and grievous outcomes for the people of Elliot Lake due to  the Algo Centre Mall collapse:

  • victims of the Algo Centre Mall collapse
  • loss of jobs
  • disruption of services resulting from the loss of a major community hub
    • a number of services provided by all three levels of government have been affected

In response to the latter outcome, Ontario is working with its federal and municipal partners to ensure residents of Elliot Lake and the surrounding area can still access the services that are important to them as follows:

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Community Health & Wellness

Pick Up Your June 2011 Ontario Disability Support Program Cheques

You Can Now Pick Up Your June 2011 Ontario Disability Support Program Cheques
You Can Now Pick Up Your June 2011 Ontario Disability Support Program Cheques

In order to avoid any delays in payment, Ontario has made arrangements for you to pick up your June Ontario Disability Support Program cheques.

Starting today, if you normally receive your cheques by mail, then you can can now pick up your June payment at your local Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) office, according to the following instructions:

  • you must present valid identification such as a birth certificate, driver’s license or passport in order to pick up your ODSP cheque.
  • Delivery-as-usual of ODSP cheques by mail will resume for July 2011 payments for people who normally receive payments by mail.

Please note that Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients may continue to use the June drug and dental cards during July.

Furthermore, Ontario Works offices have their own contingency plans to distribute payments following the postal disruption.

For example, July 1, 2011 Ontario Works payment recipients are picking up their cheques from their Ontario Works offices in Toronto on June 28, 29 and 30.

Please click here to contact your local Ontario Works office for information about Ontario Works cheque delivery in your area.

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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Ottawa’s Cornerstone Housing for Homeless Women: Official Opening

Congratulations to the City of Ottawa and Cornerstone (a community organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women) for the great official opening of Cornerstone Housing for Women at 314 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!

Cornerstone Housing for Women is a new 42-bed residential site which will provide permanent housing and supports to at-risk homeless women.

This new Cornerstone housing for homeless women will also help give them the best chance at success through supports including:

  • nutritious meals,
  • recreational programs,
  • spiritual programs,
  • social programs,
  • computer labs and training courses.

Furthermore, Ontario helps homeless women find and keep permanent, affordable housing in the following ways:

  • Ontario is committing an additional $255,000 a year to help Cornerstone Housing for Women cover annual operating costs. That investment is being matched by the City of Ottawa.
  • Since 2003, Ontario has helped the City of Ottawa to build 1,240 affordable housing units and repair 27,698 social housing units in the Ottawa region.

Please click here for Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.

For info about Ottawa’s housing services for people who are homeles,please click here.

Ottawa's Cornerstone Housing for Women
Ottawa's Cornerstone Housing for Women